PTB3-14: Bible on “Abide”. (Living with Jesus!)

PTB3-14: Bible on “Abide”. (Living with Jesus!)

No doubt you have never heard a sermon on “Abide in Jesus”, even in the New Testament it is a word unique to the Gospel of John and I John. Not that other writers don’t use it, just not like the Apostle John: the word is used 6 times by the other Gospel writers, all have to do with the “stay at our house” usage of the word, some use the past version of abode like where “Mary abode” with Elizabeth for 3 months in Luke 1:56; Luke uses the word 6 times in Acts, all in the “stay in one location” sense of the word like if the sailors on the way to Rome with Paul did not “abide” in the ship they would not survive; good ole Apostle Paul, always thorough, uses it 10 times in the writing of 4 New Testament books, with 6 of those in I Corinthians with most of the usages close to that of John in the Gospel and in I John; and of course, the Apostle John uses it 18 times in the Gospel and 11 times in I John, once in II John–there must have been something to the listening factor for John as he sat so close to Jesus, and it helped that John was perhaps the first Friend of Jesus; and yes, of course, Peter who uses it once in I Peter 1:23 about the seed of the Word of God and the new birth–“having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.”
In any and all cases you can get a fell for the Greek word “meno” which is translated “abide”, literally meaning “to remain” or “continue”. As we suspected continuity to your life of discipleship will have a lot to do with “abiding in Jesus.”

  1. When you look at all 18 times in the Gospel of John from a concordance, you will happen to notice that 6 of those are in John 14-15; and further it strikes you that the same word used in 14:16 about the Comforter “abiding” in you forever is the word of abiding in you and in Jesus of the rest of the section.
  2. John the Baptist said he saw the Spirit descend on Jesus during baptism, and that it “abode on Him” (John 1:32).
  3. In the famous John 3:16, but on the negative side of without believe of 3:36, it is the wrath of God that “abideth” on that person. Yes, the King James Version uses “abideth” for “abide”.
  4. Jesus told the Jews in John 5:38 that they “did not have His word {the word of God} abiding in them,” a negative example of what happens among the religious when the word does not abide in them. {You will find in the study of “Abide” in John 15:1-8 that there are several kinds of abide: abide in Jesus, Jesus abides in you, and the word of Jesus and God abides in you.
  5. About a grain of wheat falling into the ground, remaining alone if it does not die and producing much grain if it dies, of John 12:24, while the KJV uses “it abides alone”, the NKJV uses “it remains alone.” And we need the further context in John 12:25-26 as background for John 15:1-8.
    “He who loves his life {we must be talking about the same thing John calls in I John “the pride of life} will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” (John 12:25-26)
  6. Apostle Paul as chief editor of the New Testament, himself writing 14 out of 27 of the New Testament books, always made sure that the teachings of Jesus would be explained for every side.
    (1). In I Corinthians 3:14 Paul with an introduction of how disciples plant the seed, other disciples water that seed, and then God gives the increase, takes it further to Christian work built on the foundation of God, tested by the fire of that great Day of the LORD and Lord, with either abiding or not abiding with the worker rewarded according. Since we need this fire of the Day of the LORD for background, we will look below in two separate verses of the results, first I Cor 3:14 where the work remains after fire and second 3:15 where the work is burned up, the worker suffering loss, but “he himself will be saved”. {This also reminds us of some of the last words of Jude where scoffers are to be dealt with in two distinct categories–”And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save {compassion salted with fear} with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 22,23)
    “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.” (I Cor 3:14)
    “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (I Cor 3:15)
    (2) Paul’s admonition from the Spirit of Truth in I Cor 7:17-24 of how the call of each Christian is somewhat different, and the final words are that “let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called”, “abide in that same state” in the KJV.
    “Abide in Me, and I in you.” (John 15:4)
    While the gist of John 15:1-8 must be “abide in Jesus”, the passage actually starts with a mini-parable about the vine and the branches. Here is the way the parable goes: (1) Jesus is the true vine; (2). Clean Disciples are the branches of the true vine; (3) God the Father is the vinedresser that casts out any fruitless branch and prunes fruitful branches. And if you miss the relationship here as the equivalent of the Clean Disciples already discussed in another chapter, for example in John 13 where Jesus told them that they were all clean except one, also making this the equivalent of “chosen” over simply “called”; then you should see clean disciples as also closely akin to Abiding Disciples. {Remember we are trying based on what Jesus taught to describe something not academic but rather a personal relationship with Jesus that goes beyond a common Christian.} You will see this clean and abiding relationship when you recognize that right in the middle of the “Abide in Jesus” passage of John 15:1-8 is the clean disciples statement of John 15:3, and recall that each word or sentence of Jesus is carefully chosen so as not to waste words and time. Now Jesus has their complete and undivided attention; the crowds are not there; and the time is short before the final departure, they think, at the crucifixion. In other words that seeming rapid change in subject is not a change at all: as Jesus talks about clean disciples He is talking about “abiding” even as previously when He talked about prayer in His name He was also talking about works that would glorify the Father.
    “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3)
    Well, there is: abiding is very close to the same as being a clean disciple; the how of cleanness is through the “word”, notice not words for teaching but word, which Jesus spoke to them; and we recognize that as the seed of the Word that is planted on good ground in the case of 11 out of 12 of the called Apostles, one was not chosen; and beyond that we comprehend that this cleanness comes through the washing of regeneration, the one baptism of the Bible that is salvation. We believe, that is our part, God baptizes and that is His part. “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.”
    Okay now, Jesus is saying, go beyond Clean to Abiding!
    “Abide in Me, and I in you. {See the reciprocal personal relationship, you do the abiding in Jesus and Jesus does the abiding in you.} As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself {ah “abiding” is now tied in with the vine, branches, and Great Vinedresser God the Father with which the chapter started–there is no way there can be the fruit of God in your life apart from attachment to the True Vine}, unless it abides in the vine {we are beginning to get a picture that this abides is something continuous and not something like we often consider salvation, once for all}, neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4 with Comments)
    There is a step beyond clean and keeping clean that is abiding that continuous bears good fruit in life, works that glorify God and Jesus; or is it that the abiding includes both keeping clean, that is no bad fruit, and good fruit that glorifies in our lives God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, let’s check that as Jesus gets it all together in the next 4 verses.
    “I am the vine {yes, this is a summary that Jesus is the true vine but He is spelling it out for them and us slowly}, you are the branches {well we get that}, he who abides in Me {and by the way he who would also be a Friend of Jesus}, and I in him, bears much fruit {abiding, we now know for sure is a relationship that bears much fruit for Jesus and God}; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
    Wow, that progressed the concept of Abiding–”without Me you can do nothing”. There is no room for the self-made man or Christian in Abiding and Friendship. You for just one period of time detach yourself from the True Vine of Jesus, and whether you recognize it or not in your life and in your church, you will do nothing; that is nothing that is for the glory of God. You may please yourself, and even sometimes your pastor and your Christian friends, even further your reputation, but forget it if you think it has any eternal value for God the Father in heaven.
    And Christ always gives the opposites, the negative side if you would, as for example in John 3 what happens when you believe, everlasting life, and what happens when you do not believe, everlasting condemnation. Well, here is what happens to a Clean Disciple who does not abide.
    “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
    Wow, this abiding is very serious business suddenly. Just the thought that the Great Branch Pruner, God the Father, would prune you away from the True Vine of Jesus, that as a branch you can be cast out {causing us to pause to see if this is the same as cast out of the sheepfold, cast out of heaven and thrown into the eternal fires of hell.} This causes us to pause since it seems so counter to the Security of the Believer that most of us hold onto based on Scripture. We do know from other parables of Jesus of how the tares and the wheat will be allowed to grown in the kingdom or the church together until the final harvest of the angels at the end of time; when then the tares and the wheat will be separated, and the tares will be cast into the fire. Or is it really in keeping with what Paul taught of how in a “great house”, and we recognize the great house as the church and/or the kingdom, but in a great house are both vessels unto honor and dishonor, you know either silver and gold or wood and straw.
    What Jesus is teaching, no doubt, and Paul as well as the rest of the Bible is the realistic recognition that all in the church or any local church are not really saved. While those truly saved do have security–”they have this seal of God: the Lord knows His own and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity”; and those truly saved will depart from the iniquity as a continuous habit of life as they cleanly abide in Christ. Then in the passage of John 15:1-8, Jesus reiterates the positive side again of abiding in Christ, then progresses it one more step to success in answered prayer by way of “your desires” that are drastically changed for the glory of God when you are clean and abiding.
    “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7,8)
    And we are back to prayer again and ready for the next chapter!
    “Abide” in I and II John
    Would you not know that the best explainer of “abide” in John 15 would be the Apostle John in I John? Again either John listening better from his vantage point close to Jesus or John practiced better, several times being called the disciple whom Jesus loved and no doubt the first Friend of Jesus. As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, John uses the word “abide” or “abideth” 12 times in I and II John.
  7. You know immediately John {and the Holy Spirit through John} is dealing with the same subject of John 15:1-8, the “abide in Jesus” when he starts in I John 2:6 with the person who says that He abides in Jesus. {It reminds us of people today who would flippantly claim Friendship with Jesus while ignoring the requirements of the teachings of Jesus.}
    “He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked.” (I John 2:6)
    A whole generation of us youth were challenged by Charles Sheldon’s book IN HIS STEPS, consistent with this verse, and based on asking the question in every situation, “What would Jesus do in this case?” One of the first sermons I preached as a youth pastor at Lexington Park Baptist Church in Maryland was called “In His Steps” based on Peter, and later rewritten as “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”. {I am afraid that like most things from youth, though we appreciate the enthusiasm for Christ, it was superficial in that it concentrated more on what Christ could do for us than on what we can do for Christ.}
  8. John says that what he is about to write is not new, but rather it is a new commandment, that the disciple who loves his brother is the disciple that is walking in the light (I John 2:10) Actually it is “abides in the light”, even in the NJKV. You can see, however, that the literal meaning of meno here would give us insight as the one who loves his brother remains or continues in the light.
  9. In I John 2:14, like in the incorruptible seed of Peter, the “word of God abides” in certain young men.
  10. In John 2:15-17 where lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are identified as of the world and not of the Father, the teaching finalizes with not what will pass away with the world but what will–having done the will of God–”the will of God abides forever”, and anything done according to the will of God will abide forever.
  11. Let that abide in you {remain in you} that you heard from the beginning in I John 2:24–obviously the equivalent from John of Jude’s “faith once for all delivered to the saints”–and if you do let which you heard from the beginning abide in you, you in turn will also abide with the Son and the Father.
  12. John’s favorite word for the Spirit of Truth, the Helper, in I John 2:27 is “the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you”; and in turn you will abide in God the Holy Spirit. This is so much reinforcement on our studies on the Spirit of Truth of John, that we must pause to look closely at it.
    “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (I John 2:27)
    There are itching ears Bible teachers today who would teach you about “anointing”, adding new or modified revelations to this Scripture and others like they do to the seed sown, sometimes to include a holy water like with Dr. Peter Popoff or something similar. Don’t listen. He who abides in you is the Holy Spirit of Jesus and God; let Him teach you instead of these purveyors of new words, concepts, and revelations–generally to profit their own ministry; Him is true, not a lie like these others; and as He taught you, abide in Him. You see it is nothing fancy or complicated, nothing that these Bible teachers have the right or the authority to control. When you experienced the 9-month new birth then that Spirit came to reside with Jesus and God in your heart; remember that is the way Jesus manifests Himself to disciples and not to the world, the Father and the Son through the effecting cause of the Holy Spirit come to reside in your heart. Don’t look for anything more than this at the beginning!
  13. Can you hear the Apostle John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, perhaps the first Friend of Jesus, talking to us as “little children” near the end of His life, urging us again to “abide in Him” (I John 2:28)
    “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears {you have no doubt that the “Him” you are supposed to abide in is Jesus, the same Jesus that will appear again in the Second Coming}, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming.” (I John 2:28)
    Walking in the light is he who practices righteousness {keeps clean if you please}: the same person who if “born of Him”. (I John 2:29)
    NOTE: Hope that you are beginning to see that what we have in I and II John is a commentary on the “Abide in Him” of John 15:1-8.
  14. Whenever John writes in I John 3:6 in the NJKV “whoever abides in Him does not sin”, the KJV with “sinneth”–something like abideth that continues with time–better conveys the same meaning of a habitual sin. It is one mater to sin a few times, but it is far different to habitually continue in some kind of sin. I also like the Wuest Expanded Translation here where it is “who continues in the process of sinning”. Do not fret; John agrees with this as in another place he says, “whosoever says that he does not sin is a liar and the truth is not in him” (I John 1:8)
    Bottom Line: Abiding in Jesus Like Manifestation of Jesus
    The mystery that always remains in the answer to Judas, not Iscariot, “how will you manifest yourself to us and not to the world” (John 14:22), similarly always remains in how the Abiding in Jesus happens. Although with the answer below, Jesus removes some of the question of “how”, since it is a work of God unseen to the human world in that the rest of the world can not see it, as God and Jesus comes in to make their homes in our hearts; yet it remains a marvel, a mystery, and although quite common every time a Christian is born as a son of God, it remains mysterious and a mystery. The best we can do is to revel in faith on the answer of Jesus Himself, after all He does know, above all others, what it takes to be a Friend with Him.
    “Jesus answered and said to him {Judas, not Iscariot}, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
    The mystery is that the Great God of this Universe and His only begotten Son together take up residence in the human heart. God and Jesus place a little of themselves inside the human heart. That is the manifesting, and then there is the Abiding; and notice how similar the requirements are for Abiding {remember remaining or continuing} in Jesus.
    “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)
    “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
    {NOTE: once again we are pulling at the bit to get into Prayer, the subject of the next chapter!}
    You see that we have something to do with the manifesting and the abiding. What we do in the manifestation pre-requisites as stated by Jesus in John 14:23 above is: (1) love Jesus and (2) Keep the Word of Jesus. What we do in the Abiding is: (1) Keep the commandments of Jesus, and (2) Allow the words of Jesus to Abide in us. Do you think this is the reason Paul wrote to “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
    Faith that God and Jesus will and have come into our hearts also removes an element of the mystery. Faith that God and Jesus continue to Abide in our heart and life removes another element of the mystery, recalling as defined in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith itself in Jesus and God, in the words that God has spoken through Jesus, provide for us “evidence” of the manifestations and abiding that can not be seen with the human eye.
  15. You will want to free download this message to let it sink in and to make sure that is the way you are living:

IN PD: https://sungrist.org/PTB3-14BibleOnAbide.pdf

IN WORD: http://sungrist.org/PTB3-14BibleOnAbide.docx

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